Next Step: Loan Strike!

Forget the government. Take this fight to the banks. Let them stay up all night worrying.


This idea has been floated around several liberal websites. But instead of several hundred thousand students it should be a few million who say screw it, we aren't paying the loans back.

Just short of a general strike this is a really good idea in terms of civil disobedience.
Marvelously written. O'Neill would admire it too:
To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It's irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.
Great idea. I would totally sign on as both someone with a house that's now worth less than I pay and student loans that suck up any money I planned on saving.
Why all the intrigue and subterfuge? If you want to take money from a bank and not pay it back, have the balls to get a gun and do it the old fashioned way.
Who gave the assurances that students would have jobs waiting for them after graduation?
where do we sign up? im in.
Actually housing prices are falling because they were grossly overvalued in the first place, foreclosures are happening because the homes were bought with loans that weren't sustainable long-term as far as people being able pay them.

Reducing principle will help to a degree, but a lot of people just can't pay it period AND prices still need to drop to a reasonable level. It's a sad truth people don't want to hear. It's the reason why loan modification doesn't work.

You can't fix housing without leaving fantasy land behind around pricing & affordability.

Not paying loans....

...well we have a financial crisis that was sparked by massive defaults on loans, if everyone doesn't pay you just create another one.


A more reasonable proposal would be:

1) Only buy products made in America, the lack of manufacturing jobs is the #1 reason why we have income inequality.

2) Stop paying for things with credit cards and debit cards, take away bank revenue in a way that hurts them but won't necessarily cause an economic crisis like the loan strike.

3) Agitate for the banks to be broken up, the top 5 banks hold 90% of all deposits, no bank should be allowed to hold more than 2-5% - break them into regional banks.

4) Allow all the foreclosures to go through, accelerate it to put a bottom on the market. Force the banks to rent to the former owners, have the banks write off houses and turn them over to the city for public housing, create programs where people can buy back in a couple of years.

But allow the market to run its course, these artificial solutions to an artificial problem (a boom market, super low rates) don't make sense.

Who assured students they would have a job after graduation?
Count me in.
Hey, THEY screwed, blued and tattooed US! Let's screw them right back!

@5: You're right! I remember being told over and over again that "the really, really GREAT jobs" were right out there waiting. 15 years and another degree later, I'm pursuing self-employment. The only "really, really GREAT jobs" I see are the ones I create for myself. At least I'm putting my degree--and passion---to work by doing this.

If my parents weren't both still alive to bail me the fuck out at the time I STUPIDLY took out a Stafford Loan with interest compounded daily (yes--I didn't bother to read the sugar-coated fine print!), I'd be homeless now.
@9: Believe it or not, my admissions recruiter at AIS did.
Good idea.

But I'm 50 percent LTV, since I knew about housing bubbles and the finance and housing cycles, so I can't participate.

Remember, Holiday Events are great for Mike Checks too!
I'm starting to figure out your template, Will.

1: [Agree with previous]
2: [Bloviate. Include made-up and misapplied terms]
3. [Conclusion: total fucking non sequitur]

But I guess when you've got the 3D iPhone, content isn't as import.
Underwater mortgages will be the death of our economy, whether now or in 5 years. Real estate values plummet downward with every passing foreclosure auction, until eventually everyone's equity is gone, even those who DID play by the rules.
Yet not one $.01 of tax-payer aid has gone to help principal balances, only to the banks that made the 130% mortgages in the first place. Only 20% of TARP funds have been used, and NONE to relieve principal balances. The home goes on the block and is sold to others for pennies on the dollar, but not to the folks who owned the home and should be kept in it. Pathetic.
I'm running a similar campaign against property taxes- although values are plummeting, tax valuations are not, and it's time the masses rose up against their county assessor's offices.
#8 - way to go. American-made, cash-paid. I am out of debt, current on my mortgages (which I can afford even in this downturn), and hover on the low end of the 1%. I want a way to stand in solidarity without actually freezing my ass off OR rallying behind some process-driven kids.
I try my hardest to buy American-made no matter what, but I think that using this as an impetus to be more strict on myself coupled with the USE CASH (hey, that's American-made!) idea could have some effect.
Thanks for the suggestion!
And a little fun fact, in the bad old days of Monarchy at the time a new King, or the rare Queen, would ascend to the throne there would be what was called a Jubilee in which debts were canceled across the board. And if a kingdom was having social unrest a king could call for a jubilee as well to help maintain order.

Just a thought for the powers to be to consider.
I'm already ahead of you. I quit paying my mortgage back in April.
Again, the Left shows the intellectual byproduct of its self-inflicted school system.

- Don't pay the banks and watch interest rates dramatically rise on the economically marginalized, first and most.

- Trash your personal credit score to snag some Occupier high fives, and burden yourself with long term finance burden.

What doesnt the Left understand about cause & effect relationships, and personal autonomy? This is basic stuff -- easy as reading a student loan's terms before signing -- so perhaps rank stupidity is an indicator of Occupiers' ill-preparedness for the knowledge economy.
Haven't you learned anything?

Group action, mass action, is not working.

What do we need?

No Revolution is about the replacement of leadership with masses. It never happens.

All Revolution is about the replacement of one leadership with another.

The 2006 Congress was a Revolution...which failed.

The 1968 Republican Presidency was a Revolution....which succeeded.

What you propose more of the silly "yippie" stunts...all of which failed.

We need a new 1% to lead the 99%. A fairer, more enlightened and technocratic leadership. The old 1% has been in power since 1980. Move on...old 1%.
Admit it; you people love the widening wealth gap. This is the society you've crafted. The weaker and less intelligent you are the more offspring you're likely to produce. As society gets progressively dumber and less self-sufficient they require more power and responsibility to be allocated to the remainder of the populace still capable of successfully running their lives.
I'm ahead of the game. I quit paying my mortgage back in April.
Man, I'm ahead of the curve. I haven't been able to make regular payments on my college debts in months!

@19, I don't think people who are behind this idea really care about credit scores. I don't. I get the sense that you live a pretty sheltered life and maybe don't understand that there are a lot of people who already either can't get credit or pay absurd, exploitative interest if they can, and have been in that situation their whole adult lives, maybe on account of their own decisions, maybe not.
Inflation is the only way out.
@14 the chief method of a succcesful multinational guerrilla action is never to be predictable and always know where the weak points are.

I love it when you personally attack me, it means it's working and you can't stop it.
oh and i turned that in cause of the battery life and eyestrain. notice the next iPad 3 is thicker but smaller, they killed the 3D cause it couldn't deliver and Apple doesn't release stuff that's badly flawed. Look for it in either an iPhone 6 or iPad 3D (think iPhone xs) form, but there were also logistics problems in getting enough parts and the licensing fees were fairly high.
Uh... I don't owe anyone any money. But I had to sacrifice in order not to owe any money, and it has at times been painful and not very much fun.

In my view, student loans and large mortgages are a gamble. There are no guarantees. If someone promised you otherwise before strapping yourself with debt I sure hope you got that promise in writing.

There are other ways of affecting change in our society that don't involve shirking personal responsibility. I don't care how crooked our banks and politicians are. All it shows is that we as citizens need to hold ourselves, our government and our businesses accountable for our actions.
Speaking of loan strike, why don't we stop paying China?
@28: I almost spit out my soda. I think you are really on to something. But if we did that, will the new iPhone go up in price?? If so, forget it.
@27, I was going to write out a long rant in response to your post, because I think you're rather naively invoking personal responsibility in a situation that's far too complicated for that, but instead I'll refer you to this article.
@30 I think the best response to them would be "It's easy to talk about personal responsibility when you have lots of money"
I agree. The people who are behind this are certainly not thinking about credit scores. And if they aren't, fine. Credit scores are a consequence of behaviors that are predictive of future behaviors, and so your past stalks your future. They are free to take whatever action they like regarding their debts (which are shared across society) - certainly.

But they should also stop wah-wahing when life treats them like shit for their own insolence and ignorance.
@31, zingers are fun but do not increase understanding.
@30, I read your article and I enjoyed it. And perhaps we actually agree on some things.

My point about personal responsibility was that just because we bought into the hype doesn't mean we are exempt from the consequences. And yes, the current situation is very complicated, far more so than just not paying back a mortgage.

@30, I don't have any debt, but I also don't have any money. If the folks at Occupy (whom I support) would start demanding a single-payer health care system, maybe I could start getting ahead. But I don't need to be forgiven for any debt I willfully incurred.

LOL! Hahahahaha! Will in Seattle is a spam bot!
I don't understand the support of people falling into such debt (whether it was self-induced or predatory lending, etc...) that it is ruining the economy.
"Haha, you made poor choices and I'm doing fine" (for now).
Fact: Poverty goes up, crime goes up. Crime against those of us left with shit.
We can be snarky with poor choices and get robbed or killed by those out in the streets fucked by the system or on their last rope. Was that our choice? Yes, but not helping those in need, especially in a slanted system.
The world doesn't offer any guarantees of jobs or a good life, but at least we can try and make a world where we have a chance as a society. A society is the only way we humans can survive after all.
You do realize that student loans are federally insured, right? This means that we the taxpayers (aka 99%) will have to bear the brunt of the student loan strike just as we have borne the burden of TARP for the banks. How is that going to cause the banks to have sleepless nights? How many of the mortgages that will be involved in the loan strike are federally insured because they are VA home loans, or through HUD, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Sallie Mae? Once again we the taxpayers (aka the 99%) will have to bear the burden. How will that solve anything????
They are trying to gather a million signatures toward a pledge not to pay back loans, a pledge that kicks in AFTER a million signatures have been gathered:…
The Stranger's print readers need to know about the already existing campaign:

Please print a correction!!!
All this yammering about bad credit scores totally misses the point. As many people here have mentioned, their credit scores (and those of millions of others) have ALREADY tanked, despite their best efforts to pay their loans and not drive up too much debt. They are already being punished by the very banks and credit ratings agencies that created the problem in the first place.

A mass action to stop paying over-inflated and exploitative debt may very well lead to a bigger collapse in credit rating and "trust" in consumer ability, thus reinforcing current problems. However, it could also drive home the point that consumer debt is largely illusory and that banks didn't even have the money to lend in the first place.

If this happens, then we would have a whole generation of people who "forgive" each other for their debt and for dropping it. The overall legacy would be increased social trust (particularly among the working and middle class) and a healthy skepticism about banking and finance. The collective memory of this period would be of a bank-created problem and mass action to stop it, and NOT of a collected failure by the people.

Despite what some high school textbooks may say, no one with any understanding of history remembers the Great Depression as strictly a "bank run." They remember it as an overproduction and underconsumption problem created by exploitation and corruption among Capitalists. And, furthermore, the generally accepted conclusion is that it was mass action by unions, political activists and the Roosevelt administration that sewed the seeds for solving the problem.

I assure you all, that is how this period will be remembered, too.
It appears that the Koch brother's clowns have infiltrated this site's comments section as well. I've noticed a rise in negative comments referring to "the Left" in the last few weeks. I'm not sure what they hope to accomplish here.
@21: Excuse me, but did you just fall and hit your head on a rock?
@41: I've noticed that, too!
@27: Kudos! I'm right there with you! When I went back to college to finish what I started right out of high school, I was by then a veteran and used my Montgomery G. I. Bill Chapter 30, applied for grants, got part-time jobs through federal work-study, and lived off of series EE savings bonds to survive.

Additionally, if it weren't for the blessed assistance of the DSHS for food stamps, unemployment when I got laid off, and the Navy Relief to help with rent, I'd have been in debt up to my ears had I ever agreed to a student loan on my FAFSA. This is one comfort I can take to bed at night!

Everybody tens of thousands and more in student loan debt and still unable to find work has my deepest sympathy.
the cartoons at the beginning illustrate the real problem here . jewish manipulation of the market , and the fed that they own . fannie mae , freddie mac ,goldman sachs , george soros . that's who's to blame mostly , them and the politicians who lick their boot's .getting rid of them would go a long way towards getting our country back on its feet .

Hmmm... getting rid of the Jews in order to solve all our problems? Where have I heard that before...?
@46: ....from Adolf Hitler 70 years ago.
It's scary, isn't it, that some people obviously haven't learned a damned thing about propaganda, and that when one tells lies long enough, more and more sheeple listen? First they strip the people of their basic rights. Then they take their wealth and futures away so that they become numb and faceless robot-slaves. Then they make sure that the general population is as shamefully illiterate and ignorant as @45. Then they start to band together in sub-groups (like the Tea Party, The Corporations, Right-Wingers and Republicans) and start eliminating groups of people they feel are "lesser". Then one day the people who are left suddenly wake up to find there's no-one else but themselves to get eliminated.

There's one exception, here, however. This isn't WWII Nazi Germany, folks, it's the nation Formerly Known as the United States.

Great article. The best time to do this is at the Uranus-Pluto square in June 2012. The elites are all knowledgeable about these planetary transits. They have used them successfully against the masses. Now it is our turn. If you don't crush the elites, we will all just become crustaceans along the ocean floor feeding on the shit of the 1 percent. The absolute magic to this is that it can all be non-violent. Well, unless they beat you for not paying your debts or throw you in jail. Radical, non-violent solutions can work We will all go down in flames together but rise like a Phoenix out the ashes together as well.
Not pay your bills? I've used that tactic often, and I didn't even know it was politically correct.

I didn't like my credit card terms. Most of the money I paid them, was for fees. I never asked for overdraft protection, they made me accept overdraft. For instance, I might go $10 over, I would get hit with overdraft, over-limit, and late fees.

I told them they would have to change their policies, or I wouldn't pay. They wouldn't change, and I didn't pay. I haven't suffered as a result, except for the bill collectors. I have perfected a special way of preventing collection calls--for every time they call me, I call them back 10 times. Very soon they get the message.

"Forget the government"? Yet therein lies the primary causes of our economic collapses (aside from corporate stupidity, which is a reflection of this inferior culture). Government artificially restricted the supply of housing (through land-use and zoning and building code regulations) and artificially increased demand for housing (by increasing the money supply and strong-arming banks to lower their standards to meet affirmative action goals).
@48 - Ken, I would like to urge you to read the book Debt: The First 5000 Years. It introduces some very interesting historical perpective on economies. And historical, as well as cross-cultural (since we are all humans), perspective on human economics is critical in a global time such as ours.
The New Yorker columnist addresses Occupy concerns with a precision,
suggesting a strategy environmentalists with better records take...
Conlin and City Hall Patronizers of sophisticated bedders,(Freudian slip?) betters?
Professional peers again turn their stream & spray upon Grevious Council attempts to actually construct infrastructure. THE Wurshdirt n uther dirt Big Chief heads got no braynes...

Cypher that one, Asswholes
@52 & @53: .........and your point is.......?
Reading these comments, I see few of you get the idea of "strike". Strike means an intense, direct, controlled hit at the establishment. It means warning folks, WE ARE GOING TO STRIKE, it means sticking to your word to strike, it means sticking to your strike until you get what you want. The problem with Occupy is that it lacks the list of things it wants. Back in the day, the unionizing workers had a list (the 5 day work week, the 8 hour day, not child labor, safe conditions, and a couple others I can't remember) and they organized to refuse to work until they got what they wanted. Today, all of us, union and non union, benefit.

Occupy needs to think about what it wants, how to organize to get it, and what it's long term legacy will be. I think loan strike is BRILLIANT (and I have neither a student or house loan). It's powerful beyond our imagination, but we would have to get organized, be super professional, and know that we were fighting for the lives our grandchildren.
@55: I hear you!
@55 - You are right. However, back when the unions (particularly the IWW) agitated for the 8-hr workday, the concept of a union and recognition that they are a benefit to the working wo/man was obivious. They also had enormous participation. OWS is loosely affiliated, and still relatively small - despite having our current unions latch on their support.

We are a significant way off from the sort of union-style actions and bargaining that was done 50-100 years ago. To say nothing of the cultural recognition of why acting together in large groups for our mutual benefit is a good idea.

However, if enough people agree that we need to bring the financial masters to heel, perhaps flash mob style mentality --leveraged with communications-- will help us get to a place of exerting checks on the powerful and rich.


In Graber's book Debt: The First 5000 Years his anthropological review of money reveals that in virtually all societies DEBT FORGIVENESS was a key factor in keeping the various economies functioning well.

To-day, we have a situation where debt hangs over nearly everyone's head... to say nothing of the government.

Also importantly: Due to the requirement of interest on any loan taken, there is more debt than actual money to pay it ...and there always will be.

Even if we *could* pay off all debt, the economy would grind to a halt, because the money would essentially disappear into the "loans fully paid" column.

Currently, we have a lack of liquid capital; specifically amongst the "consumer" classes.

Economies are healthy when money moves around quickly -- it's the velocity of money that remains a key feature of a vibrant exchange system.

We have a stagnating situation right now.... so how to we get to a situation where money can move more fluidly?

THAT is one of the cruxes of the problem we currently face. That and making sure that people with money-power (bankers, finance officials, congress-critters, 1%) can't exact too much selfish control over the system as a whole.
Y'all don't get it. As big a threat to the system as this would be, the people who refuse these debt payments will be imprisoned en masse and the keys thrown away. They'll find a way to do that and pass a law about it (10 minutes after the next inauguration, if necessary) if they can't.
@31 Almost as easy as saying that people with money haven't earned it. Almost.
If anyone deserves to have their debt forgiven (or support for not paying it back) it's the folks out there with large medical bills.

Families who are way behind due to catastrophic illness or injury need a break first ahead of people who borrowed money for housing/tuition and got burned. That's just my opinion.

if you are able to pay your mortgage and you don't, you impeach your own integrity. you might like the idea of getting something for nothing, but that is not how the world works, notwithstanding our sense of entitlement. there is a severe opportunity and resource gap, and people like Jon Corzine and Tony Rezco and congressmen trading on inside knowledge are the prototype thieves in this mess. The mortgage strike has all the markings of a high school student council protest. Sounds cute but adolescent and is the wrong tool for the wrong problem. And is devoid of virtue, shimmering as it does, in the wonderful glow keeping something for nothing. When men and women of valor go on strike, they willingly lose something in the process - their wages, for example. This insipid concept is about keeping without paying that which was promised to be paid for. About as valorous as the OWS hero defecating on a police car.

The gap between the rich and powerful and those who are not requires deeper thought, more imagination, more understanding of systems, more seriousness, more sacrifice, less obvious selfishness and stupidity, and more honor than the protests have evidenced. For now, the protesters are the useful idiots of those on the blue side of the power/money monopoly, the Corzines and Pelosis and Wasserman-Schultz's and Soros's - people whose moral character is no different than the red stripe version of the power/money monopoly. Oh well.
if you are able to pay your mortgage and you don't, you impeach your own integrity. you might like the idea of getting something for nothing, but that is not how the world works, notwithstanding our sense of entitlement. there is a severe opportunity and resource gap, and people like Jon Corzine and Tony Rezco and congressmen trading on inside knowledge are the prototype thieves in this mess. The mortgage strike has all the markings of a high school student council protest. Sounds cute but adolescent and is the wrong tool for the wrong problem. And is devoid of virtue, shimmering as it does, in the wonderful glow keeping something for nothing. When men and women of valor go on strike, they willingly lose something in the process - their wages, for example. This insipid concept is about keeping without paying that which was promised to be paid for. About as valorous as the OWS hero defecating on a police car.

The gap between the rich and powerful and those who are not requires deeper thought, more imagination, more understanding of systems, more seriousness, more sacrifice, less obvious selfishness and stupidity, and more honor than the protests have evidenced. For now, the protesters are the useful idiots of those on the blue side of the power/money monopoly, the Corzines and Pelosis and Wasserman-Schultz's and Soros's - people whose moral character is no different than the red stripe version of the power/money monopoly. Oh well.
Next step: General Strike!!! Get your butt down to Oly and occupy the Capitol!

oh oh the damage done.

the masses got scammed and the masses got acquired Immune deficiency and the masses got poisoned and the masses got toxic wall board and the masses had all their jobs go to other nations so the rich could pay less to make more and being aware of all the B/S and lies I have herd from America for some 50 years? all I can say is what a nation gutless ignorant fruit cakes America is? meth heads and crack heads and just so completely more viol and irresponsible then any other nation its horrifically gross.

So idiots still dont want air bags and seat belts cuz some piss head Republican is getting paid to make sure Americans die in Auto accidents and any other senseless crap they can laugh about at the martini bar.

none the less the damage has been done so its all water under the bridge and spilled milk so the occupation is really a after the fact pity party for "the billions" of people who have lost or suffered from a Nation of suck asses?
This would hurt local real estate, and mortgage companies more than the banks. Now is the time to buy houses. This is what will get them off the market, and bring values back up. If we stop buying mortgages, then these properties will stay on the market, and continue to hurt the economy.

The reason these mortgages are underwater is the same reason the economy is in the shithouse.....subprime loans. The people in these loans, never were able to afford their homes in the first place.

Luckily these loans are now gone, and people buying these houses now, must be able to afford them, thanks to the changes and regulations, that the Obama administration put in to place.

If you want to help the local economy and give the finger to the banks at the same time, use local mortgage companies for your loans, use local escrow and real estate companies, and make the investment now!!!!!! House values are never going to come back to where they were, the figures from 8-10 years ago were vastly inflated due to the use/over/misuse of subprime loans.These short sales and banks owned homes need to get off the market for the economy to rebound. The longer they stagnate, so will our country.

We should focus on ways to use the government to make these houses more afforable and easier to buy, mainly short sales. The banks need to be under a deadline to move these shortsales. That will help a lot more than a mortgage ban. Trust me!
@66: But first make sure you have the money to PAY the mortgage.
Better yet, avoid banks and bad loaners altogether, and buy outright if you can.
@66 for sure! That is by far the best way too buy...outright, give the banks/lenders nothing, your house will be much much cheaper in the long run, unfortunetly most people don't have a couple hundred k sitting around. And yes make sure u can afford it first, but if you know what it takes to get a loan w/new regulations, you know that your not going to be able to get a loan, unless u can afford it, and can prove you can afford it.
I don't think you all realize just how BAD things will need to be before there is actual measurable action to undo things.

The damages to this nation have been spreading since Nixon's defeat and Reagan's rise. The conservatives have been pursuing an intense, orchestrated and scheduled plan since Nixon was thrown out on his rotten and corrupt ass. Just look at the sheer number of his cronies that remained in government through Bush Junior's tenure in key roles, and that remain in key conservative positions. Now their next groomed generation is moving the plan forward.

Nothing happens in a void. The dumbing down of Americans by defunding schools, the ultra-aggressive disenfranchisement of minorities and unions, the directly coordinated shift in the corporate news media to shift from a position of reporting on events, truths, and causes to reporting instead upon controversies around events and facts -- none of this happened by accident.

Honestly, until things hit Second Great Depression stages or something absurd like V For Vendetta levels of police state, nothing is going to happen. Why would it? It's in their interests to gouge and then crackdown, gouge and crackdown, binge and purge, boom and bust, in ever shorter cycles, like the media itself.

Eventually it will reach a tipping point where they either win, or the modern world goes down in a scale to make the French Revolution look like a cocktail party.
I can't support it. Too much personal risk for what gain? What end?

This isn't an answer for me.
@5, 9: You're kidding, right? Admissions officers are paid to do exactly that. Like auntie grizelda, I attended AIS, and they quote a 90% industry placement rate. Or at least they did when I attended. That number of course is completely fabricated, but there is no law saying that they can't do that when they're a for-profit school. I'll restrain myself from getting into all the other bullshit they pulled during my time there as it's not really relevant here.

Maybe you should educate yourself on the topic. Watch this and learn a thing or two about the issue.
@71: Knat for the win!!!! Spot on! You nailed it!! The folks in Admissions told me all that bullshit, too. While times and employers' needs can and do change over the years, for-profit colleges aren't doing anyone any favors by sugar-coating the labor market just to put big bucks in their pockets---or braces on some instructor's kid's teeth.

I'm humbly thanking God that my student loans from way back when are long paid off! I don't even want to know what the current tuition rate at AIS is now, in or out-of state.
@5, 9: One clarification: I'm agreeing with you on the big lie about dream jobs waiting for people just finishing college.
@69: I hope I'm dead by then!
i hear mc donald's is hiring liberal arts majors to dip fries . run your asses down there get a job and pay your loans you lazy worthless shits.
@74: What's your point, McDoofus?

I've got a better idea: why don't YOU go to school, and LEARN to read, write, spell, and use grammar correctly in a sentence?
I'd have suggested that you soak your head in a deep fryer, but your idiot brain sounds pretty deep fried, already.
@74: Like flipping burgers at McDonald's is going to pay off the average student loan!

I suggest you take a Remedial Math refresher course, too.
@28: For the win!!!!
@74: That's M-A-T-H, not meth.